The Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Energy, Alex Wachira opened the first of a kind two-week Interregional Training Course on Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development in Mombasa country, from 28th August to 8th September, 2023. Kenya has taken a significant step towards becoming a key player in the global nuclear energy community as it hosted the ground breaking event.
During his opening remarks, the PS emphasized that Nuclear energy is an indispensable tool for achieving the global, sustainable development agendas. It has stood as a beacon of promise offering clean, reliable and continous electricity generation. Training, Capacity Building, Networking, and Sharing experiences is part of the road map to the successful implementation of a nuclear power program in Kenya, he asserted.
Dr.John Haddad from IAEA, Dr. Mike Goff from U.S Department of Energy and Paul Murphy of Murphy Energy & Infrastructure Consulting, LLC were in attendance as the international experts. The training attracted delegates from 17 countries namely; Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri-Lanka, Mongolia, Thailand, Turkiye, Jordan, Poland, Ethiopia and the host Kenya.
The course was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the United States Government and hosted by the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA). The purpose of the event, was to train participants on the IAEA’s Milestones Approach and the nuclear infrastructure issues for implementing new nuclear power programmes. The training course emphasized the development of key organizations involved in the nuclear power programmes; specifically, the Government/Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO), owner/operator and regulatory body. In Kenya, NuPEA serves as the NEPIO.
The training course was conducted as a series of presentations by the IAEA and international experts. The programme included discussions, case studies, peer-to-peer exchange of good practices, and working group sessions on related topical issues. The training course focused on the IAEA milestone approach addressing the 19 infrastructure issues to be addressed in Africa’s pursuit of a safe and sustainable nuclear programme. It showcased Kenya’s commitment to fostering international cooperation and knowledge sharing in the field of nuclear technology.
The IAEA milestone approach provides a comprehensive framework for countries considering or embarking on nuclear power programs. It serves as a guide to address the 19 infrastructure issues namely; National Position, Management, funding and financing, industrial involvement, procurement, electrical grid, radiation protection, nuclear safety, legal framework, safeguards, Regulatory framework, human resource development, stakeholder involvement, environmental protection, emergency planning, nuclear security, nuclear fuel cycle and Radioactive waste managent.
By embracing nuclear power, Kenya aims to meet its growing energy demands, contribute to global efforts in combating climate change and to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity.